China is building a “rain factory” the size of three of Spain

Artificial rain — that will help China to moisten the area at three in Spain. Anyway that’s the latest draft of China’s manipulation of the weather. The system will include a burner of solid fuel, drones, planes, artillery and a network of meteorological probes that will study the vast expanse of the Indian ocean. The goal is to create a distributed system that can fight climate change and increase rainfall in the region of ten billion cubic meters, or approximately 7% of annual consumption of water in China.

Of course, the project and technology of artificial precipitation in General — has its critics and opponents. Some refer to the unproven nature of the technology, others are afraid that the project will increase international friction in an unstable region.

Scaling and satellites

New project of China provides for the deployment of thousands of cameras, burning solid fuels on the Tibetan plateau. The combustion chamber will produce silver iodide. Iodide acts as a condensate to water molecules in the air. The more water molecules gather around the molecules of iodide, the heavier they become and fall to the ground as snow or rain. This process is known as seeding clouds.

Every year, the wet monsoon winds from the Indian ocean sweep through the Himalayan mountains to the North. Data about the activity of the monsoon, collected from 30 meteorological satellites in real time, will ensure that the fuel combustion coincide with optimal conditions for binding water monsoon mists with iodide that will be produced in the combustion process, thus increasing rain and snowfall. Network combustion will help the drones, cloud seeding, aircraft and even artillery to maximize its effect.

The SCMP, citing an unnamed scientist working on the project, said that 500 of the combustion chamber has already been built, and initial results were very promising. One combustion chamber costs about $ 8,000. At the end of “tens of thousands of cameras” will be located on the Tibetan plateau. The aim is to increase the amount of precipitation on an area of about 1.6 million square kilometers. It is the largest project in the world to create artificial rain.

Climate change is the main reason why China is taken for this project. According to SCMP, climate models predict that this region will face serious drought and rising temperatures, which will reduce regional precipitation. This creates significant risks for China and its neighbors, because the Tibetan plateau is an important water source in the region.

The climate under control

China is developing technological ways of manipulating the weather, as well as looking for ways to collect or distribute water for many years. In 2016, proposed a project “the Celestial river”. Its goal is to increase the water supply of the Northern arid regions of China due to the evaporation of water and use the North air flow for transport of vapour to the North.

Closer to the ground the manipulation of the weather can be a way of dealing with high levels of pollution found in many large cities of China. The project involves the consolidation of large sprinkler systems on the outer sides of skyscrapers. Sprinkling water on the air, it would be possible (probably) to bind toxins and gases with water, thereby reducing the amount of toxic smog.

China is not the only country which is developing projects to control the weather. In 2016, 56 countries had such programs, compared to 42 countries in 2011.

The idea of manipulating the weather has been here for years and even was used during the Vietnam war. “Operation Popeye”, for example, aim for an increase in precipitation during the monsoon season, to the relief was dirty and almost impassable for enemy fighters. The unofficial slogan of the air force pilots who flew the mission was “make mud, not war”.

Take water and make rain

Final approval of the project by the Chinese authorities has not yet been accepted, but has raised concerns in other regions of China, as well as in neighbouring countries. The manipulation of weather for more precipitation on the Tibetan plains can lead to a decrease in precipitation in other places. Tibet is often called the water tower of Asia, which feeds the river Brahmaputra, Mekong, Yangtze, and Yellow. Whether the increase in precipitation in a particular geographic region can lead to a decrease in precipitation in other places? This question still remains unanswered, and it is unclear what to do with it.

Critics also point not proven the theory of weather manipulation.

MA Wazan, a scientist from the Institute of Tibetan plateau research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, described the experiment as “unprecedented”, but doubts that the combustion chamber will affect the weather. In particular, he is skeptical about the amount of rain that they can produce. The climate system is enormous. Any attempts to intervene may appear washed out.

Others are optimistic about the potential of the project.

“Even a ten percent increase in rainfall or snow can justify the cost,” says Bart Girts, Professor of atmospheric Sciences at the University of Wyoming.

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